Meanwhile In Lansing, Michigan...

Tyler Durden's picture

Hours ago, the US labor union movement was dealt another crushing blow (the most recent being the recent liquidation of Hostess which left thousands of workers cold and unemployed just in time for Thanksgiving) when the Michigan legislature gave final approval to "right-to-work" restrictions on public sector unions in a state considered a stronghold of organized labor. In the meantime, over 10,000 protesters had gathered outside the legislature, chanted in the gallery, and generally expressed their displeasure quite vocally with this development that further set back labor in its endless fight against capital. As Reuters reports, "the House passed the measure making membership and payment of union dues voluntary for public sector employees such as teachers by a 58-51 vote.  The only government workers excluded would be police and fire unions. The Senate approved the same bill last week so it will now go to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who has promised to sign it into law."

Incidentally, these same workers would be better advised to direct their anger at Chairman Bernanke who has done everything in his power in the past several years to shift the balance of power far more in benefit of capital courtesy of ZIRP and zero cost of capital, which allows companies to cut as many workers as needed in order to pursue the almight bottom line dollar, while extracting unprecedented productivity gains out of those still employed, as workers no longer can fall back on savings and are forced to accept any labor conditions in a New Normal world in which living paycheck to paycheck is becoming the norm for most, and thus giving employers all the leverage.

But that is a philosophical debate for a different place. But for now, here are two short clips to serve as a harbinger of what may and most likely will happen in the US as labor unions are stripped of even more power in the coming months and years, showcasing their reluctance to go gentle into that good night. This is how close the US is from violence at any one moment.

Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt this time.

Has the Syntagma riotcam finally crossed the Atlantic?

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Seasmoke's picture

Ben does not have enough fingers to put in all the new holes is this dam.

akak's picture

Those who can, do.

Those who can't, join unions.

Those who can't join (coercive) unions, protest.

ShrNfr's picture

They are charging 8 of these lovely union fellows with felonies over their tactics.

You talk about stuck on stupid, you do not charge a police line.

Kastorsky's picture

you do not charge a police line.

time will come - you won't have a choice. 

shovelhead's picture

Sign here:___________________________

International Brotherhood of Internet Tough Guys.

Congratulations on your new membership.

Don't forget to pay your dues.

earleflorida's picture

... we've been set back a century-- a jekyll Island dream come true 

zerotohero's picture

I worked at General Motors for six years - the union was just pathetic - a dinosaur that should be extinct.  

10mm's picture

Unions got sloppy and got greedy to much.However,i know why they started and were needed.Now their just  trying to maintain what everyone else lost.Recall the days of old when most workers were foxconn here in the U.S.Chinatize was left,it's gonna blow whatever the outcome is.

Tombstone's picture

I was in a union for over 20 years.  The union accomplished some good things and protected workers who should have been let go.  I wonder how it is that 10,000 union workers could get the day off to go protest?  Was any production lost?  Did they get a paid day off?  Do the businesses that these people work for have to swallow the lost production and still be expected to make a profit to pay all these union workers?  I fully support right to work laws.  I do not favor union bullying.  What comes first?  The company or the union?  Many seem to forget that there would never be any unions without first a business being created; except in the wasteland of government.  I have always figured that I never really needed union protection to keep my job; that would come by doing a good job in the first place. 

MeBizarro's picture

You honestly believe that by 'workign hard, doing good work' you job is pretty safe?  What a sucker. 

notadouche's picture

It's a lot safer than sucking at your job and being lazy.  You think management, who actually need workers want crappy ones?  That's not the exactly the route to success as a manager.

MeBizarro's picture

Any manager (including myself) cares about hitting quarterly numbers and what things are lookig like for that year first and foremost at any publicly-traded company or any company owned by PE.  Maybe there is a little focus on a 3-yr or 5-yr window depending upon the organization, its strategy process, and its current ownership.



notadouche's picture

And any leader, (myself included) know that I'm judged by the team I have and how they are developed.  Unless you have a widget that just sells itself (which is fairy tale land) you have to have quality employees or you won't make those quarterly's.  Not taking talent into consideration would make for very ineffective managment and a damned short career.  

MeBizarro's picture

One of several things and BS that takes precedent over hitting numbers at a publicly-traded company or PE-owned firm.  Even at a late stage startup they will do it if they have to reduce burn rate. 

Talent/qaulity is a key part of it but I have had to fire good/very good people who had their share of talent because the company I worked for was going in a somewhat different direction or needed cost savings. 

notadouche's picture

Hopefully you took out the worst one's first.  When your company starts taking out good talent then it's probably tantamount to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic and the best time to go while the getting is good.  

MeBizarro's picture

Managment might be perfectly happy with 'less than competent ones' who are notably cheaper whether they are younger or overseas to margin targets.  Once you reach middle managment, being a 'good worker who works hard' is only one small piece of the part of moving up the food chain and frankly not as important as being a good networker, politicking, and knowing the lay of the land.



notadouche's picture

It may be a faster route up the ladder in the beginning but trust me it's generally not lasting.  If you are all style and no substance sooner or later you will be exposed.  Possibly not when other's would like but it happens.  If you are all substance and not much style it will take you longer but it is a lasting.  At some point the Peter Principle catches up to the people promoted beyond their competence"   

I feel sorry for you as it appears the management you have been exposed to really must have sucked.  

virgilcaine's picture

Looks like a Michael Moore wannabe got an azzwhooping!

uncle_vito's picture

Unions protestors:  F em

Norsky's picture

Simple fact of the matter is Unions have priced domestic labor out of business. Another problem they have is creating and promoting an adversarial relationship with the employer. Why does it have to be that way?

MeBizarro's picture

You assume that labor is the overwhelming element in the cost of production or that other factors including productivity and distance to customer don't apply.  US manufacturers still aren't coming back to the US in any kind of meaningful numbers even with entry-level manufacturing labor rates down to $13-15/hr with defined benefit plans and no retirement healthcare.  Cheaper and easier to do it in Mexico and drive/ship it over the border in Mexico if necessary.     

blunderdog's picture

     Simple fact of the matter is Unions have priced domestic labor out of business.


What priced domestic labor out of business was opening up that MASSIVE labor market on the other side of the planet where workers can pay for survival expenses on under $100/month.

If we want to be competitive with places like China/India/Brazil/wherever, we need to make it cheap enough to live on those wages here in the USA. 

MeBizarro's picture

Yup.  It was largely the end of the Cold War in '91 and the current style of trade agreements that have been in vogue since the mid-90s. 

Vendetta's picture

when our kids are burning to death in garment factories and workers are jumping off their factory buildings to their deaths, we'll know we're gobally competitive ... yea!

Matt's picture

Too late. All those jobs that went to China are being replaced by robots, which are more productive, even cheaper, do not make mistakes, do not need breaks, do not become disgruntled, do not demand wage increases or pensions or healthcare, and only feed on electricity.

darteaus's picture

Did you ever think of being more productive?

blunderdog's picture

Productivity is a function of output over TIME.  That's not the issue.

The issue is output over PRICE.

If I'm 3x more productive than a Chinese employee but 5x more expensive, I'm still going to lose the job to him.  There's a long-term downside as the company whose products I can no longer afford loses me as a customer, but these decisions are made on a quarterly basis.

Short-term thinking is what got us here, not lack of productivity from American workers.

darteaus's picture

You misunderstand me.

Measure productivity in terms of dollars:  If a Chinese employee uses the last generation of machine tools, and the American employee uses the current generation of machine tools, productivity must be measured in terms of total cost per unit of output.

What got us here is lack of productivity from American based plants.

MeBizarro's picture

Nothing new here and this is the path ahead forward in America at least the rest of the decade.  Going to be about taking things away from people/groups/companies and those who are organized with muscle and/or money will fight tooth and nail to hold on to them. 



Madcow's picture

to all you dare-devils who continue to live in big cities along the coast -  i salute you and your family death-wish

MeBizarro's picture

So society is going to completely break down into mass anarchy very soon and I am assuming that your farm/ranch is so isolated and in the middle of nowhere that you won't have to deal with it.  

darteaus's picture

It's a monastary: St. Katherines, Sinai

blunderdog's picture

You'll never get anywhere with an attitude like that, man. 

When the zombie apocalypse arrives, I intend to be one of the first to eat my neighbors, and I've always wanted a Manhattan penthouse apartment.

MeBizarro's picture

This correspondent was an a$$ too.  He's getting right into guys' faces and goading/egging on them.  WTF does he expect?  That these guys will all calmly react to him.  There are just certain things you don't do if you have any common sense. 

This 'reporter' was just looking for an inevitable physical reaction from someone so he can put it on film and get the right-wing media to have a clip that will be run endlessly on Drudge, Fox News, etc about how the unions guys are 'thugs!'


1000924014093's picture

They could have ignored him--they he would have nothing. But they were dumb enough to give him exactly what he was looking for.

darteaus's picture

Stupid woman walks through a park at night.  "WTF does [s]he expect?"

MrBoompi's picture

I don't know how I can blame anyone but the dumbfucks who voted the Republicans into the majority.  What did they think would happen?  That these anti-middle class pigs would hand out free copies of the Communist Manifesto?



wonderatitall's picture

damn right...we union democrat nazis have the right to steal and loot..we got dat obama and i want your car

strayaway's picture

Sorry, you only get a phone and some minutes.

outamyeffinway's picture

Fuck all those union fuckers.

MrBoompi's picture

Says the guy who didn't graduate from grade school and couldn't get a union job.

Seasmoke's picture

It always makes me laugh that the police UNION always comes in to clean up the mess.

earleflorida's picture

what amazes me... and, should amaze most, is that police and firefighters are exempt?

apologies, if this has already been posted

Vendetta's picture

yep, the firefighters and cops don't believe in the FREEDOM that non-union membership offers.

sethstorm's picture

Still would be a lot better than the thugs sent to kill off unions (whether by fist or law degree). 

Apparently contract law is fine if you're not a union, but it's bad if you are one.  Hopefully this thing gets scrapped as soon as it is possible along.

Bobportlandor's picture

I fear this deteriorates into perpetuity. 2008  is when the party ended. Going forward 194 countries will be jostling to survive with dwindling resources.

Clipper, square rigs, saddles, oxen, plows, lasso, will be the lexicon and the farm report will be on prime time TV. Oh yeah we'll still have TV cause the history channel will have a built in audience of dimwits still trying to figure out why the collapse of 2008 happened. Why hope and change didn't work, what is a Bernanke, why is Obama running against the Muslim brotherhood candidate for his 4 term, etc.

F U country

hannah's picture

so all these union members were there protesting FOR GAY MARRIAGE...? i didnt know the unions were so pro gay....?

budda's picture

Being Spit-roasted by Bankers and Unions is a world wide occurence.

budda's picture

Being Spit-roasted by Bankers and Unions is a world wide occurence.

IridiumRebel's picture

These boys average about 350-420 each. Cutting the gravy train off make Fatty angry. Golden Corral is gonna see a dip in sales in the MI area.